Minister of Youth and Sports Affairs Namal Rajapaksa yesterday said, no unnecessary travel will be allowed for sports officials for any international sporting event.
This was in reply to a post circulating on social media, where it said more than 50 officials were accompanying two athletes for the Olympic Games in Tokyo. This is costing Rs. 22m for their travel and lodging.
“The matter hasn’t been brought to my attention yet, and there is a history of sports finances being misused and more officials travelling than sports persons.”
“When I took over the ministry, I pointed out that no officials or supporters would be given joyrides through the sports ministry funding. I will stand by what I said.”
“If the matter is brought before me, I shall put forward the matter to the sports council. I will not entertain such travel ‘joy rides’ at public cost by any official or supporter unless it’s important for the sports event and sportsperson”.
Meanwhile, President of the National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka (NOCSL) Suresh Subramaniam said that this is a malicious social media posting and that only six athletes, one doctor to manage COVID-19 pandemic, Chef-De-Mission (Gamini Jayasinghe) along with six coaches of players are in the contingent. “The maximum will be 12. I too have set an example in this regard and I spent my own passage when I was the President of Sri Lanka Tennis Association and NOCSL.”